Here in the wee hours, as I continue with our website enhancements and comb over the Artist Services page, I find myself thinking about what it all means, how I got here, and why I do what I do.
Let's work backwards: I do what I do, because I have been where you are. Because I am an artisan myself, in addition to having been different types of artist. I have had to wrestle with questions of how to find an audience for my work. As a musician, when I was young, I was reliant upon teachers to provide venues for me. I was still learning, and it was a natural relationship. As a theater artist it was a question of reaching an audience and bringing them into a theater to see my work. Especially in the beginning, I relied heavily upon producers and producer/directors to do that work for me. There's nothing wrong with relying upon others - there are many types of creative endeavor that naturally involve teamwork. But there is an empowerment that comes to the artist who understands the process of promotion, and it was while working in theater that I began to notice these processes more, and watch how others approached them.
At the very least, that type of noticing begins to give you an understanding of the work that goes into that process. It also gives you a chance to start taking ownership of your own piece of the work - if you are engaged in what you do, you can begin to use the materials provided to you by venue and show producers, to tell people about your work. The benefit to the work itself is exponential, when each person who is participating is also promoting the work (this is also true of market type venues, or group gallery shows).
By the time I made the transition from performing artist to artisan, I'd had a chance to learn a lot about arts promotion from some very talented people. And I also realized that on my own, as an artisan, I did not have a team to back me up. I had to learn to promote my own work, or it would not find an audience. I started with tools that I was familiar with from my performing arts experience, and went on to learn much more about marketing, design, social media, different types of venues, and so much more.
In serving other artists - providing not just services, but service - I get to pass along all of that great experience. If only I could have known how cool that would be while I was putting on makeup in those claustrophobic little dressing rooms, or sitting in my basement apartment back in 200_, alone, staring at my creations hanging on my wall, and plotting their escape into the big, bad world!